OGDEN, Utah – Northern Arizona placed five members on the 29-player Big Sky Conference Preseason All-Conference Football team, the league office announced Monday. It was the second-best total in the league behind eight selections by defending Division I national champion Eastern Washington. The team was voted by a select group of media and sports information directors.
The Lumberjacks had a Big Sky-best four student-athletes on the offensive unit led by sophomore running back Zach Bauman. Fullback Vinnie Paciulli, offensive guard Alex Mott and wide receiver Austin Shanks were also named to the team.
Senior defensive lineman Isaac Bond was the lone selection on the defensive side of the ball. He joined Sacramento State defensive end Zack Nash, Weber State offensive guard J.C. Oram, Idaho State return man Tavoy Moore, Eagle junior wide receiver Brandon Kaufman and senior defensive tackle Renard Williams among the six unanimous selections to the team.
Bauman was an All-Big Sky second team selection in 2010. The Chandler Hamilton High School product rushed for 1,059 yards on the season, setting the school freshman rushing mark and recording the 14th 1,000-yard season in school history (11th-best single-season total). He scored 16 touchdowns on the season to lead the Big Sky. He was aided by the efforts of both Paciulli (Moon Valley HS) and Mott (Troutdale, Ore.) up front.
Shanks had 65 catches for 613 yards with three touchdowns, the second-best total among receivers. His 65 receptions rank seventh on the school single-season charts and his 5.9 receptions per game ranked second in the Big Sky and tied for 25th in FCS.
Bond, who is from Vancouver, Wash., was an All-Big Sky first-team choice in 2010. He ranked tops among defensive lineman with 32 tackles, recording six tackles for loss and listing fourth in the Big Sky in sacks per game.
NAU opens practice on August 9 in preparation for its season opener on Sept. 3 at Arizona. The Lumberjacks open the renovated Walkup Skydome on Sept. 10 against Fort Lewis College.
Montana State's DeNarius McGhee and Sacramento State defensive Zack Nash garnered individual preseason awards. McGhee, a sophomore quarterback from Euless, Texas, was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Nash, a senior defensive end from Vacaville, Calif., was tabbed the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
2011 Big Sky Conference Preseason All-Conference Football Team
Pos., Player, Year, Hometown, School
QB -- *DeNarius McGhee, So., Euless, Texas, Montana State
RB -- Zach Bauman, So., Chandler, Ariz., Northern Arizona
RB -- *Cory McCaffrey, Sr., Sisters, Ore., Portland State
FB – Vinnie Paciulli, Sr., Phoenix, Ariz., Northern Arizona
OT -- Gabe Jackson, Sr., Tacoma, Wash., Eastern Washington
OT -- *Caleb Turner, Sr., Redlands, Calif., Weber State
C -- *Chris Powers, Sr., Black Diamond, Wash., Eastern Washington
OG -- Alex Mott, Sr., Troutdale, Ore., Northern Arizona
OG -- *#J.C. Oram, Sr., Slaterville, Utah, Weber State
TE -- Greg Hardy, Jr., Fairview, Mont., Montana
WR -- *#Brandon Kaufman, Jr., Denver, Colo., Eastern Washington
WR -- Chase Deadder, Sr., Modesto, Calif., Sacramento State
WR -- Austin Shanks, Sr., Pacoima, Calif., Northern Arizona
PK -- *Jason Cunningham, Sr., Amarillo, Texas, Montana State
Returns -- *#Tavoy Moore, Sr., Long Beach, Calif., Idaho State
Pos., Player, Year, Hometown, School
DE -- *#Zack Nash, Sr., Vacaville, Calif., Sacramento State
DE -- *#Isaac Bond, Sr., Vancouver, Wash., Northern Arizona
DT -- *#Renard Williams, Sr., Port Orchard, Wash., Eastern Washington
DT -- Bryan Waldhauser, Sr., Worden, Mont., Montana
LB -- *A.J. Storms, Sr., Meridian, Idaho, Idaho State
LB -- *Nick Webb, Sr., Salt Lake City, Utah, Weber State
LB -- Zach Johnson, Sr., Tumwater, Wash., Eastern Washington
LB -- Caleb McSurdy, Sr., Boise, Idaho, Montana
CB -- *Trumaine Johnson, Sr., Stockton, Calif., Montana
CB -- DeShawn Shead, Sr., Palmdale, Calif., Portland State
S -- *Matt Johnson, Sr., Tumwater, Wash., Eastern Washington
S -- Jeff Minnerly, Jr., Spokane, Wash., Eastern Washington
P -- David Harrington, Sr., Huntington Beach, Calif., Idaho State
Sp. Teams -- *Darriell Beaumonte, Sr., Lakewood, Wash., Eastern Washington
First-Team All-Conference in 2010